Perry Center Professor Attends Regional Seminar on Human Rights
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26 Apr 2016

Perry Center Professor Pat Paterson joined the US Southern Command Human Rights team at a South American Regional Seminar on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (IHL). The event was hosted by the Center for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law of the Peruvian Armed Forces in Lima. The seminar included representatives from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay as well as participants from the Peruvian Armed Forces, academia, politics, and civil society.

Over the course of the 3-day seminar, the participants received briefs from each country in attendance, explaining their doctrine and structure for IHL training of their forces. US Southern Command representative Leana Bresnahan described the Human Rights Initiative and Consensus Document, the collaborative effort of militaries in the region to develop education, doctrine, and internal oversight of human rights and IHL for their forces. Perry Penter Professor Pat Paterson gave a presentation on the US policy on human rights, where it fits in US foreign policy, the Leahy Law, and IHL lessons from the U.S. experience in Iraq and Afghanistan. The group was also briefed on the Inter-American System of Human Rights to include the Commission in Washington, DC and the Court in San Jose, Costa Rica.

In addition to the academic presentations, the group also examined three case studies: International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Operation Rios effort to development favelas in Brazil, the Lucanamarca massacre of Peruvian peasants in April 1983 by Sendero Luminoso terrorists, and the Chavín de Huantar operation in April 1997 that freed 72 hostages from MRTA terrorists. The latter also included a visit to the replica of the Japanese Ambassador’s residence constructed by Peruvian military commandos for rehearsal prior to their storming of the building.

Opening remarks were provided by Julio De La Puente, Vice Minister of Resources for the Ministry of Defense. The graduation ceremony was overseen by Brigadier General Julio Salazar Encinas, director general of Education and Doctrine for Peru’s Ministry of Defense.